World record set to make point about bag material

By Anita Jaynes on 6 October, 2015

Paper Bag Co, a market leading bag supplier in the UK, with help from Varn Media and around 300 pupils at Fitzmaurice Primary School in Bradford on Avon, has ‘ripped up’ the world record for making the largest paper bag in the world to illustrate that paper bags are easier to recycle than plastic bags.

After months of planning, a postponement due to rain and the gruelling work of piecing together a lot of large strips of paper, the most gigantic paper shopping bag ever made on earth became reality at Fitzmaurice Primary School in Bradford on Avon on 23 September.

Paper bags are easy to recycle and with the right certification, suppliers can ensure the wood sourced comes from carefully managed, re-planted forests. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to biodegrade, choke up rivers, harm animals and for a single use item present a tremendous waste of resource.

Paper Bag Co set out to draw attention to eco and paper bags as a viable alternative to plastic ones.

A Big Record

To beat the previous world record set in India on 12 January 2014 by Footprints X4 and, the shopping bag had to be over 18.55 metres long, 11.33 metres wide and 2.94 metres deep.

The Paper Bag Co record breaking bag measured a huge 22.50 metres long, 15.41 metres wide and 3.36 metres deep and was officially verified by Guinness World Records.

To accomplish the world record they used:

  • 1,400 metres (almost a mile) of brown paper, 16 football pitches long.
  • 4,800 metres (3 miles long) of paper tape, 53 football pitches long.
  • 1,500 metres of paper string (a mile), 16 football pitches.

Enormous Accomplishment

Jon Marling, director of the Paper Bag Co said: “We are really happy to hold a world record. As a bag supplier to retailers we make every effort to understand where we can support sustainable solutions using environmentally friendly materials that are easy to recycle such as paper, cotton or bamboo. This has been a really fun project and we are proud to have accomplished this amazing record for Great Britain with the help of staff from Varn Media and the school children at Fitzmaurice primary school.”

The Paper Bag Co team painstakingly putting the bag together over several hours, after which, a structural engineer, Tapani Saarinen from Malishev Engineers based in Bath, took the final measurements of the dimensions of the bag and this was witnessed by Bristol based Jason Heath, relationship manager from Santander Bank.

Tom Vaughton, director of Varn Media on completing the event said: “It’s been an exciting, long and rewarding day to finally know we have the record! I want to thank all the hard work and vision of the staff at Varn Media for making this possible and the school children and teachers from Fitzmaurice who have made this historic day for Wiltshire and the UK extremely special.”

With the record ‘in the bag’ the paper from the huge object was made into smaller souvenir bags for the children to take home. During the day of the world record attempt, the children decorated the bag and helped with its construction.

From 5 October 2015, there is a 5p levy per bag on plastic carrier bags in the supermarkets. Paper Bag Co suggests that retailers can simply change over to paper materials where possible, as they are much easier to recycle and are not taxed.

See the whole record breaking event with a stop motion camera here: